NEW ORLEANS — The Mercedes Benz Superdome is a hub of activity as the stadium prepares to host the Saints home opener on Sunday.
There won’t be any fans in the stands because of COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. But, the show must on for the Romig family in the public address booth.
Mark Romig is the Saints announcer in the dome.
“The Mercedes Benz Superdome will be a little lonely this Sunday, but we are going to do our part to bring as much enthusiasm to it,” Romig said.
Mark’s sister Mary Beth is his spotter, helping to identify playmakers on the field.
It’s a family tradition.
Their late father Jerry Romig was behind the microphone for 44 years before Mark took over 8 years ago.
“There are two seasons in the Romig house, football season and the waiting for football season,” Mary Beth Romig said. “Now it’s football season.”
Last month, Saints officials announced seats would be empty for the Bucs game because the Coronavirus is still widespread in Louisiana and along the gulf coast.
“It’s just going to be an adventure and we’ll just roll with it whatever comes our way,” Mary Beth said.
The Romigs are determined to give the players on the field a bit of normalcy.
Mark plans to kick it up a notch.
“We’re going to work hard to make sure the players know that we have their back as much as we can have their back,” Mark said.
At this point the earliest fans will be allowed in the Superdome is on Sept. 27 for the Green Bay game. The dome holds about 72,000 fans and only a fraction of that number will be allowed in the dome to watch the game.
“Ultimately, if we can have a homecoming with fans in the stadium that’s great. In the meantime, we’ll do our best to bring all that spirit to the stadium,” Mark said.
Mary Beth says working a game in the dome is like a family reunion.
Brother Jay is also in the booth operating the scoreboard.
“For me personally it will be nice to have the band back together again,” Mary Beth said. “We haven’t been around each other very much. We’ve been paying attention to the rules and being physically distant from each other as a family, so now we’ll be back in the saddle again and that’s something I’m really looking forward to.”
The Saints-Bucs game kicks off in the dome at 3:25 p.m., Sunday afternoon.